Posts in advice
PLAYLIST: Thanks for the Butterflies
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As a way to celebrate Valentines Day, I've decided to share a playlist that is dear to my heart and so full of love. These are songs that I collected throughout my engagement that evoked so much joy and happiness during such an exciting season in my life and I hope it finds a way to do the same for you!

 
 

 

Xo,
C

A Gift Guide for Fine Art Brides
bridal gift guide

Are you stumped on what to get your engaged friends? Whether it be a holiday gift, engagement gift, or bridal shower gift, this is a curated list of our go-to resources for bridal gifting. Happy shopping!


PERFUME

In our opinion, every bride should have a special perfume for their wedding day. Something that is elegant, romantic, and unforgettable. A scent that, when she puts it on for a special occasion years later, it takes her back to the moments she was walking towards the love of her life whom she was about to spend forever with. There are a few scents that are popularly chosen for this momentous occasion and we’ve listed them below. We suggest only purchasing a scent if you know what their preferences are (sweet, citrus, bold, natural, etc)

Our picks:

Any of the Tocca scents
Peony & Blush Suede by Jo Malone
No. 5 by Chanel

click the images to be sent to the source website

 

RING STORAGE

There are always times when a bride needs to take off her beautiful ring. We suggest having a safe space to keep it. Some of our favorites are handmade ring dishes, Mrs. boxes, or a beautiful glass box that she can keep on her bedside table.

Our picks:

The Mrs. Box

Notary Ceramics - Round Pinch Dish

BHLDN - Porcelain Bloom Ring Box

Handmade Studio TN - Gold Rim Ring Dish

High Street Market - Brass & Glass Mirror Box

click the images to be sent to the source website

 

NATURAL SPA & SKINCARE PRODUCTS

Whether it’s for wedding planning stress relief, or preparation for the big day, a bride can always use some artisan skincare products that promote relaxation and natural ingredients.

Our picks:

Herbivore Botanicals
Lola Jane Naturals

click the images to be sent to the source website

 

NOT YOUR AVERAGE CLICHE ENGAGEMENT MUG

We're sure you've seen the cliché engagement mugs everywhere with, ‘soon to be mrs’ or ‘does this ring make me look engaged?’ plastered all over them, and to each their own, but we love the idea of tossing that idea to the side, and instead getting something unique and handmade that they will adore for years to come. 

p.s. It’s always a good idea to get a set!

Our picks:

Kati Von Lehman Textured Short Mug
Farmhouse Pottery Silo Mug Set
Squatty Quilted Farmhouse Mug

 

A CAMERA

We wholeheartedly believe that a beautiful love story is worth capturing every moment. Whether it’s recording the exciting season of their engagement, the honeymoon, or their life as a newly married couple, this gift will keep on giving. We, of course, are quite partial to this inexpensive film camera due to the timeless quality of the photos it captures. Be sure to include some film in your gift! They will then be able to develop it into prints for their home, or digitize them through one of the many film labs across the country.

Our pick:

Pentax K1000 Film Camera

 

WEDDING PLANNER

A wedding planner is perfect for the most recently engaged brides to give them a place to keep their thoughts, ideas, and wedding plans in one place.

Our pick:

BHLDN - Some Kind of Wonderful Wedding Planner

 

BLING BRUSH

The perfect little tool to carry in your purse and clean up your ring when heading out for an event or date night. Every newly engaged woman wants to show off their new accessory, and this is the perfect gift to make sure it always sparkles.

Baublerella Bling Brush

bling brush

 

CUSTOM BAR NECKLACE

Simple, delicate, and a beautiful reminder of their love. Get their initials or wedding day stamped into one of these bar necklaces that they can wear for years to come as a reminder of their special day.

Our pick:

Pixley Pressed Classic Date Bar Necklace

Pixley Pressed Classic Date Bar Necklace

DATE NIGHT GIFT CARD

Sometimes the most special gift you can give to a couple is the gift of quality time together. Our personal favorite gifts have been gift cards to our favorite restaurants, movies, hotel night, etc. You know your engaged friends better than we do, what would their dream date night be? It could be something as simple as a nice bottle of wine and a movie, if you're on a tight budget.


Want more fun posts like this? Comment below to let us know!

Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to receive more tips, tricks, resources, discounts, launches, and business update information!

 

OUR LIBRARY

Wedding Stationery Information & Advice

Fine art curated wedding Pinspiration

Freebies

A GUIDE TO VINTAGE STAMPS
guide to vintage stamps

Vintage stamps have been a long time love of mine. They're the perfect addition to any envelope to elevate the experience from your guests' first sight. I'm sure I’m not the only one who has a hard time finding normal stamps that go with my aesthetic. So by popular demand, I’m covering all the details on vintage stamps, including how to choose the right ones and who my recommended stamp vendors are.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF POSTAGE

There's nothing worse than realizing your piece is not post office friendly when you go to send them. Make sure your stamps add up to the current postage rates. Right now this rate is $0.50 (going up to $.55 in 2019) for standard sized envelopes, and $0.70 for anything square, irregular, overweight, or that has to be hand cancelled due to wax seals or something. I recommend having at least one stamp equaling 25 cents or more and then using 1-20 cent stamps to round it out to the right rate.

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CHOOSE A THEME

Your stamps should have an overall theme and color scheme. If your wedding has a very specific color scheme, you should probably adhere to that before anything else. I also like to choose a theme, such as botanicals, or something that is personal to the couple. For example, if you are from the midwest, but your groom is from the East coast, try to find coordinating stamps that feature aspects of each person's background. This is a beautiful way to bring in those personal details that don't always get included in the invite suite itself.

PLAN IT OUT

You should always plan out how you're going to lay out the stamps before purchasing them to make sure you have room for the address, especially if they're going to be calligraphed. Along with that, you'll want to make sure you like the way they all look side-by-side. I do this by taking screenshots of the stamps we're thinking about, and then laying them out on a 5x7 square (that's the same color of the envelope).

vintage stamps

MAKE SURE IT FITS IN THE BUDGET

You'll quickly figure out that vintage stamps do cost more than modern day postage. This is because of the rarity of the stamps and you're paying that vendor for taking the time to find and take care of the stamps. That being said, I wholeheartedly believe that if it fits in your budget, it's absolutely worth investing in to make that personal statement. I suggest budgeting at least $2.50 per invitation suite, including the response envelope!

Pro Tip: If there's a modern day stamp that fits in your color scheme/theme, try incorporating it into your layout to save money! I used this tactic on the invite suite below, and look how lovely it turned out!

vintage postage blue

FIND THE RIGHT VENDORS

Here's a list of vendors I use to source our vintage stamps... I have had nothing but good experiences with each of these lovely people! If you have any other recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

Pack and Post

Vintage Postage Shop

Verde Studio

That being said, there are vendors out there who sell previously used stamps (which cannot be used in the postal system, but are also often used for crafts, decor or styling) Along with that, I've also heard horror stories about stamp knock-offs, so be careful and make sure you read reviews!

Do you have more questions regarding stationery, design, branding, or weddings? I love journal topic suggestions! Leave me a message!

Xo,
C

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to receive more tips, tricks, resources, discounts, launches, and business update information!

 

OUR LIBRARY

Wedding Stationery Information & Advice

Fine art curated wedding Pinspiration

Freebies

SEMI-CUSTOM COLOR INSPIRATION
semi-custom color inspiration

One of the drawbacks from going semi-custom is not having the professional input to make sure your paper goods will coordinate nicely while still reflecting your wedding style. Our way of remedying this issue is by creating 10 popular color palettes (from our research of the current wedding industry trends) and using this inspiration to create beautiful color combinations with the paper & ink colors we offer. Our goal is that these color combinations inspire and guide you to pick the perfect combination for you!


POPULAR COLOR PALETTES


Aside from these options, we're always available to help you pinpoint the perfect colors for your wedding, so don't be afraid to reach out.

We're one week away from launch day!

Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to be the first to know when our Semi-Custom Shop launches!

 

OUR LIBRARY

Wedding Stationery Information & Advice

Fine art curated wedding Pinspiration

Freebies

WHEN YOU SHOULD GO WITH SEMI-CUSTOM PAPER GOODS
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If you haven't already heard, we'll be launching our semi-custom shop on September 27th. We decided to create semi-custom suites for brides with certain circumstances who want beautiful paper goods for their special day. We're going to outline three good reasons why semi-custom might be right for you!

WHAT ARE SEMI-CUSTOM SUITES?

Semi-custom suites vary from stationer to stationer, as well as the options that come with them. Our suites are all 5-pieces (invite, rsvp, rsvp envelope, detail card, & outer envelope), with the ability to add embellishments & day-of goods. Each piece is customizable to your names, information, wording style, as well as printing process, ink color, calligraphy style, paper color, and envelope color.

BUDGET

We've said it before, but we were recently brides, and we understand the stress of budgeting for a wedding. The initial concept for a semi-custom line popped into our heads when we realized what other brides were going through, and we wanted to have a solution. We'll be the first to admit that we have expensive taste. But why shouldn't you have your dreamy wedding?

When it comes to budget, semi-custom suites allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck. You still get a beautiful design, but for a lower price than custom work. These suites require you to save on design time, due to the fact that the suite is pre-designed, all that needs to happen is editing the information and colors that you choose. Semi-custom can save you up to $500, which in wedding world, is a whole cake!

Maybe you have a decent budget for wedding stationery, but you really want a lot of paper goods incorporated into your day? This is where that extra ~$500 can get you some menus or place cards.

TIMING

We often get requests from couples that are either running a bit behind on their wedding stationery and don't have time to design something custom, or they have a short engagement and they desire a unique and organic aesthetic.

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend our clients reach out 3-6 months prior to their wedding. Once you've reached the 8 week mark, we recommend that you choose a semi-custom suite, or if you still desire a completely custom design, there's usually a rush fee that goes along with that. This fee varies based on your stationer, but generally hovers around 20% of your total.

SIMPLICITY

Maybe you're just a busy gal and you don't have time to go through the process of designing custom wedding paper goods. We get it, planning is not a walk in the park, and coordinating with another vendor could put your inbox over the edge. Our shop will be simple and easy to go through, and you could be checked out within 15 minutes. On top of that, we handle everything behind the scenes, so all you have to do is click purchase, approve, and wait for the arrival of your beautiful paper goods.


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SOFIA

FLOURISH

Adore

Here's a sneak peek of what you will find in our shop!


This all being said, semi-custom is not for everyone. If you're looking for something personalized to you, your venue, or your wedding theme, we do not recommend that you settle for anything less than custom. The impact that comes with custom paper goods is worth every penny, as well as the memories that your heirloom suite brings back for years to come.

Along with custom design, comes a lifelong friendship from yours truly. We aspire for our custom clients to feel like more than just a client, but like family.

So which is the perfect route for you?

Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to be the first to know when our Semi-Custom Shop launches!

 

OUR LIBRARY

Wedding Stationery Information & Advice

Fine art curated wedding Pinspiration

Freebies

A GUIDE TO HANDMADE PAPER
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One of the many reasons we love wedding paper design is because of the textural elements we can infuse into a design to create a tactile experience for the beholder. We've made it our mission to find the perfect raw materials to add to our designs, including handmade papers. Their beautiful raw edges and individuality are characterized by the hands by which they were made. Each blemish and imperfection reflects the inevitable flaws of human nature, and in our opinion, there's nothing more incredible. See our list of our favorite handmade paper vendors, as well as a comparison of each of their papers below!


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OUR FAVORITES

silk & willow

Silk & Willow's handmade papers are the most textured and durable of the bunch. Their durability comes from the strength of the 100% recycled cotton rag fibers from t-shirt cuttings (how cool is that?). None of their papers are bleached or dyed and carry their own unique qualities as most handmade papers do. We have not personally tried this on an inkjet printer, but due to the thickness and texture, we don't believe it would be a good candidate. Silk & Willow paper is ethically made in India.

ARPA

Arpa's papers are the most readily-available papers we've found. They're also the most keen to printing at home, due to their subtle texture and deckling. These papers come in a variety of colors, including grey, ivory, lavender, pale blue, pale pink, sage, and salmon, as well as a variety of European sizing (which is slightly unusual). Arpa's pulp mixture includes pure cotton and linen fibers that create such a soft, subtle texture and slight deckling. These papers are our go-to for larger quantities!

FABULOUS FANCY PANTS

Fabulous Fancy Pants handmade paper was one of the first we ever bought, and we've been in love ever since. Their paper is made of 100% cotton rag using cotton textile remnants. Each piece is handmade on an individual screen and carries the natural color and qualities that comes with the hand making process, including varying speckles from the fibers. Their paper carries a slight linen-like texture that is a design element in itself. We have been able to inkjet print on these papers, but only a few at a time before you have to clean the heads again. These are ideal for letterpress and calligraphy. Fabulous Fancy Pants does not offer dyed handmade papers.

OWL POST CALLIGRAPHY

When we first got our hands on Owl Post Calligraphy's handmade paper, we were in love. The deckled edging is to die for. Along with that, she creates a selection of beautiful colors that creates a uniqueness in itself. Owl Post's papers are also made of 100% cotton rag, and the texture is perfectly-subtle. We also must note that her envelopes come in a straight flap, which is unique from most other handmade envelopes. Owl Post will forever be one of our favorite vendors for beautiful colors, however stock is usually limited, so you have to be quick to purchase!

IDYLL PAPER

When we heard Tara Spencer would be creating her own line of handmade papers, we almost fell out of our chairs. We've followed Tara for quite some time and we've always been mesmerized by not only her designs, but her custom paper, and now it's available to the public! Each piece is so perfectly incredible with the delicate and wild deckled edges and a super soft and smooth texture. The best of all, her papers work well in almost any situation. Right now she carries mostly neutral colors, including off-white, sand, and black, and limited sizing options. Idyll Paper is handmade in Canada.

 

ON OUR RADAR

FARMETTE PRESS

Farmette Press has been taking the fine art stationery world by storm since she announced her launch this past summer and she's sparked quite the conversation about her beautiful papers and letterpress services. Their wide variety of naturally dyed and perfectly imperfect papers look sooo dreamy! We haven't yet had the chance to get our hands on her papers, but we're looking for any good reason to!

SHARE STUDIOS

We've been following Share Studios for quite some time, and we must say, her Instagram Stories are mesmerizing as she shows certain parts of the paper-making process, along with cute snaps of her two puppies! Stephanie creates many different kinds of papers with different fibers and dyes, and she even incorporates different elements such as gold leaf and feathers to make her paper even more beautiful and unique! We can't wait for the chance to order some of her gorgeous papers!


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We hope this helps any of you in search of the perfect handmade paper for your project. If you'd like to know more about handmade paper, or any other wedding stationery related topic, feel free to reach out!

Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to our journal to receive updates straight to your inbox!

HOW TO ADDRESS WEDDING INVITATIONS + A FREE TEMPLATE
wedding guest addressing

We're continuing our stationery etiquette series, giving you all of the details you'll need to conquer your wedding invitations without confusion. This post is covering the etiquette behind addressing your guests correctly, without offending anyone.

 

Married Couple

Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Anna Walton
or
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Walton

 

married couple with different last names

Mr. Jack Walton and Mrs. Anna Hamilton

 

unmarried couple living together

Mr. Jack Walton
Ms. Anna Hamilton
On separate lines

 

SAME-SEX COUPLE

Ms. Penelope Green and Ms. Amanda Holt
or
Penelope Green and Amanda Holt
Alphabetical order, or whomever is the closest acquaintance.

 

FAMILIES

Include parents' names and "and Family" afterwards
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Walton and Family
If there is only one child, include "and Miss Claire," or "and Maxwell" after the parents' names.
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Walton and Miss Claire
Girls under 18, use Miss, boys under 18, do not use a title.

 

CHILDREN 18 & older

If children 18 and older do not live with their parents, they should receive their own invitations.
Ms. Claire Walton
or
Mr. Maxwell Walton

 

Married doctors

Doctors Anna and Jack Walton
or
Dr. Anna and Mr. Jack Walton
or
Dr. Jack and Mrs. Anna Walton

 

DISTINGUISHED MILITARY TITLES

Both captains in the military: Captains Anna and Jack Walton, US Navy
or
Different titles: Captain Jack Walton and Lieutenant Anna Walton, US Navy

 

We hope this information will help you navigate the task of addressing your guests. We have tried to include the most common circumstances that we're faced with, but please be sure to reach out if you have any additional questions. To help you even a little bit more, we've created an Excel document that will assist you in organizing your guest addresses. Download the free template here!

Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to our journal to receive updates straight to your inbox!

WEDDING INVITATION WORDING ETIQUETTE
wedding_invitation_wording_etiquette

As we talked about in our previous etiquette post, invitations should be kept simple and to the point. They should only include the host names, bride & groom's names, date, time, and ceremony location. We're sharing our knowledge below about the etiquette behind wedding invitation wording.

Host wording

We recommend always checking with the host before making your final decision on how to word your host line of the invitation. You want to make sure to be gracious to your host/s.

You have the option to list out each of the host's names, (for example: Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Adler), or if there are multiple parties hosting, such as both sets of parents and the bride & groom, it's okay to just say "Together with our families," as long as you have permission from your hosts.

Some examples of wording for your host line:
"request the pleasure of your company"
"would love for you to join them"
"invite you to celebrate with them"
"request the honor of your presence"

Bride & Groom's Names

Traditionally, the bride's name precedes the groom's, due to the tradition that the bride's parents host the event.

If the bride's parents are, in fact hosting and the bride shares their parents' name that is listed in the host line, her last name does not need to be included. However, it is customary to include the groom's last name.

The reasoning behind including full names within your invitation is for the guests who do not know you personally, maybe they're acquaintances to your parents or they know more than one John and Abigail. An exception to this rule is when you're having an intimate wedding where everyone knows the bride and groom personally and does not need that extra reminder of what their full names are.

Date and Time

Formal wedding invitations generally have everything spelled out, including the date, year, time, etc. (for example: "Saturday, the fifteenth of May," "five o'clock," "two thousand and eighteen")

The Location

Unless the name of your ceremony location will confuse your guests, the full address is not necessary. However, you should always include the city and state. A few examples of when you should include full addresses are: if the location is a home, doesn't easily come up on a search engine map, or if there are multiple locations with the same name.


While this information is helpful, we always recommend discussing your wording options with your stationer. Usually they will be able to offer you a couple of wording options that fit your circumstances. However, we wholeheartedly support new ways of wording things to fit your style. As always, we're an open book, so don't hesitate to reach out about your wedding stationery questions!

Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to our journal to receive updates straight to your inbox!